As of October 17th 2018, Canada becomes the second nation in the world to fully legalize recreational Cannabis. The Cannabis Act (Bill C-45) was passed this June, and ushers in a long-awaited societal shift towards a more progressive and relaxed stance on cannabis.

The legislation itself varies from province to province in terms of how the purchase, sale, and distribution of cannabis will be regulated. For the purposes of this article, I will outline the regulations as they pertain to British Columbia (Link) through the following series of questions and answers:

  • How old do I need to be to consume cannabis?

You need to be 19 in British Columbia to purchase, sell, or consume cannabis.

  • Where can I buy cannabis?

Non-medical cannabis can be purchased online through licensed retailers as of October 17th, or at any of the non-medical cannabis private, or public, retail stores that will start cropping up in the new year.

  • Where can I smoke cannabis?

You can smoke anywhere that currently allows vaping or cigarettes. For everyone at UBCO, you will be allowed to smoke cannabis on campus at 3 of the 6 current smoking gazebos.

You can smoke privately in your home, just as long you haven’t already signed a rental lease which prohibits smoking indoors. For those of you living on campus, you cannot smoke cannabis in your rooms or anywhere near the residence buildings.

  • Can I smoke and then drive?

Just as with alcohol, consuming cannabis can impair judgement and reflexivity; you should certainly not be driving under the influence of cannabis or any other drug. If pulled over and found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol you will be subject to fines upwards of $100,000 and possible jail time. No joke, people.

  • How much cannabis am I allowed to have?

Adults can carry up to 30 grams in a public space and can grow up to four plants at home. Make sure you check with your landlord before you start growing though because your landlord has the right to restrict the growing of cannabis on their property. Unfortunately, if your lease currently prohibits smoking, as of the legalization date that also prohibits your ability to grow cannabis in your rental unit.

  • Can I share cannabis with my younger sibling?

Sure! But if your younger sibling is under the legal age limit of 19, then you may be subject to fines and possible jail time.

  • Can I smoke before class?

I know some students that go to class high and get 60’s, and others that get 90’s. I certainly wouldn’t attend lectures after smoking, but everyone’s different.